On Dogma: The Origins of Grace
Our world, like any other treasured gem, has as many facets and depths as one might care to explore. Many of those elements call and inspire people to seek out a different unique doctrine of terms that define greatness. Of them all, the truly blessed understand that Hope everlasting is the spark granted at birth that makes you seek betterment for yourself and others. Amongst those the places to turn to for enrichment beyond our mortality, there is simply one focus above them all, one so deep yet so deceptively simple.
The nature of good has a foothold within us all, eager for our decision to embrace, ignore or reject it. In your journey of understanding, know that Hope and Faith are terms that cannot be separated in their true meanings or practice. Those who understand and embrace this reality are truly blessed with the strength of her Grace and her Calling. Your flaws and your imperfections are the reason why hope has been granted to you, a being who needs it. You are as worthy now as you were at your first breath. The Lady welcomes you into her service.
In the practice of the priesthood, there exist certain words that you hear repeated, both on your breath and on missives penned by your hand. These mantra are not in practice of some ancient rote, but are reminders distilled to the lowest salt of truth that our brutish language can convey. The practice of dogmatic refinement is one that does not come naturally to a practice that has long been decentralized. Moral authority is never fully conveyed into the hands of the flawed, and this goes for myself or any other elder, no matter how practiced. Do not attribute these words to a sacred vision passed down from Aurora, as they come with the sweat and toil of mortality, yet polished by wisdom and experience. Treat them with respect, yet not reverence, as they were written for both of our benefit.
These principles that have fallen from my quill are the soul of the teachings that I have tried to live my life by. Consider them not a doctrine of behavior, but a set of guidelines by which to measure your decisions. One of my greatest failings is my inability to truly train a person to be a priest, one I should blame on my own clarity of thought than my particular upbringing. Until now it has been a list of "should" and "should-nots"; a teaching style that has been more reactive and bears a detriment of effectiveness. Part of being a priest is understanding, both in context of timely decisions and the future. It's time these thoughts found a home.
An Auroran seeds only hope, never vengeance, destruction, retribution, or darkness.
The emotional soul reacts in many ways to fear and uncertainty. Though we have four religious considerations in our worship (Hope, Faith, Light, and Purity), these all point to a single guiding principle that transcends all of them. There are those whose task it is to judge, ferry the dead, destroy all that walk, and to seed either Law or Chaos. While there are times when these diversions meet the goals of the Light, do not let them remove from you the simple task you have been charged with. Hope.
The job of the Auroran is not to judge, but to guide.
It is never our job to shepherd the worthy from the unworthy. Of the many that are fated for destruction by the sword of the Light, we are not sent to extinguish. Do not take this to mean an Auroran should be soft-hearted. She has only given up on those who have given up on Hope itself, and cannot be brought back to it. You may one day find that you are asked to redeem and seed hope onto one who you were just commanded to end. Faith is the understanding that even though the road is confusing, the map is correct.
Seek guidance always. Secrecy often begins a dark path.
Very few times in Auroran history has a lone hero, separated from both spiritual and physical guidance. The wisdom to solve a particular mission does not solely belong with you, nor will you be the only person to whom it will inevitably be entrusted. Trust in those with which whom you share a common bond of faith. They are your guidance and your mutual shields against the dangers you shall face. Do not fear asking for guidance from the Light, as it is only a question away.
You will never be sent alone. You are never the sole light in the darkness. Let not ego stand in the way of a mission
Within each of us exists that particular spark. Many refer to it as the "soul", but for many reasons relating to the manipulation of your mortal existence, the two are confusingly separate. Your spark that was given to you is no more fated or blessed by a divine birthright than any other, except that you have chosen to accept the difficulty of Her service. Should you fall in your task, another can be granted that sacred charge, but know that it was handed to you first. It is the utmost of honor and challenge that you should live up to. Your effort pleases the Light, and makes us all proud.
Know your own weaknesses and actively seek them out. Confront them at every turn.
Our flaws are what we are called to struggle with and develop ourselves in spite of their pitfalls Whether it be despair, hopelessness, or insecurity, there is no reason to not engage the darkest portions of your being every day of your life. If you do not discover and combat your weaknesses against a part of yourself, some force will. An older tenet states "without eyes truly open, you may never see the Light." While this has been perhaps passed down poorly, it's base meaning remains intact.
You will never be called upon to commit evil for a greater good.
Hope and the Light are a practice and a foundation that exist for the enrichment of self and others. This exercise of divinity is nourished by a fundamental understanding of what these principles entail. Actions themselves, without the basis or desire for introspection, make a dangerous substitute for real wisdom. The actions of the light-worshiper pervert on a blindness to methodology. Know this, and understand you will never be asked to subvert your methodology to bring about a "greater good". There is no greater good than the one you are pursuing. Your morality is meant to never waver, and should never be subject to barter or compromise.
This task has been given to you because you are well suited to accomplish it. Find your strength within you to carry this forward.
Guidance passed from the godly to the simple implies a particular wisdom that surrounds the exchange. Aurora does not sacrifice people as a shrewd chess player may spend his pawns. Do not subtly insult Her by misinterpreting her boundaries as something so thin that your life is to be crushed by default. Never would you be robbed of such a fundamental hope. Rather, look upon a challenge granted to you as the honor that it is; this most sacred of charges handed to you because you are capable of rising to this occasion. Your potential is only a secret to yourself, and a joyous one at that.
There is always a lesson to be learned. If you feel you have nothing else to learn, then that is your weakness.
It may be enlightening to think of your life as less a trail of decisions and more a ladder, though both metaphors can validly hold some weight in your life. Search consistently for the next wrung and know that as long as you climb, there is opportunity that will surprise even the wisest or oldest sage. These improvements may be physical, religious, or even arcane depending on the person. Continue this path at all times, seeking guidance every so often.
Seek the darkness out where it lies for that is your job. Do not lose focus on either the large or the small.
So encompassing is the darkness that pervades this world that simply visualizing it might crush your hopes of ever overcoming it all. Our struggle may well be an eternal one, as it will outstrip your and many other lifetimes. Do not let your focus on the huge evils and problems of the world excuse you from a seemingly more minor opportunity to bring Light to where there is little. You are never too busy to ease the suffering of the common man, nor too insignificant to contribute to larger problems. Know your limitations, but be prepared to grow as a person, ever wary of ego expansion that may outstrip your humility. Some opportunities are but traps, and others are greater ones in disguise. Let your wisdom combine with the eternity of Truth to find your way.
Do not throw your life away, and understand what your own limitations are. A long life of service is greater than a short-lived heroic martyrdom.
Aurora has asked you to serve, not to die. Hope has been granted to the living, by the living, and that chain must continue. Though you may continue to serve past this time, know in these overly simple terms that the living have a unique position in this universe. This tenet is no excuse for cowardice, but be wary to take any opportunity for a storied "last stand".
You are mortal and you will die. Do not seek it, but do not fear it. It will happen in time. When you are dead, you will simply receive another assignment.
You too must follow the natural order of things. Your body will fail you, by sword or by time, and by the ferryman's touch you shall pass onto Judgment. Aurora has claimed you for her own if you hold such in your heart. There is an uncertainty in many things associated with a lack of control, and your mortal nature embraces that uneasiness. Do not fear death, as Hope is one of the few things that will forever transcend it. To grant absolute immunity to it would subtly defy and spoil the very essence of what we believe.
Your soul belongs to Aurora if that is where you wish it to be. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.
Those seeking to interrupt the cycle and the promise placed upon you will find the blade of the Light to be swift and without remorse for those who wish to bury hope. Whether you are wrapped by magic or not, know that and the end of its journey, you will be granted the blessing of the being you chose to carry with you in life. As you have done her will as her agent in life, so shall this pact protect you in death.
Aurora doesn't need anything from you. Do not do things for her benefit, do things for others in her name.
Power structures are a complex topic which dictate a proper treatment onto itself. In its most primal incarnation, understand that Hope exists within every creature who has ever lived. She is the sun; the promise of a new day. Aurora needs nothing for herself, other than for your betterment. The power of the Light is ancient and is older than Time itself, before ego even existed if such an origin can be reasoned. Altruism, as pure as can be perceived, come from this grace and truly needs nothing in return. There are times when certain consequences exist due to limitations placed upon gods or mortal bodies, but it is a discreet wisdom to understand the fine difference. The Light is truly clever and seeks to fully abide by those restrictions so constructed while meeting its goals.
Your faith will never be tested as a part of a trial. Do nothing that does not feel right to you.
Every day your very existence tests your faith. Within every choice, word, and action presents a test for you to grow from, whether in your success or failure. Seek the former in all that you do, but accept and learn from the latter. Aurora knows you with a piercing clarity unrivaled in any mortal seer or fortuneteller. She does not need to test your faith or impose upon you any trial. Nothing is needed from you other than what you provide. It is for your enrichment that she puts forth these hurdles, not her own.
Know that these words represent the internalization of the greatest power in the world. Please carry these lessons in your heart, and I hope that all may begin to know the depths to which even simple words cut. This is the essence of our faith, as it has been passed to me. I can only pray I have successfully passed it to you.
By prayer and steel,
-Sir Cain LaDarius
Knight of the Crown
High Priest of Aurora
Created by Cain (Jay Bonci) at 07-18-07 03:14 PM
Last Modified by Faelinn Shadowmoon (Leanne Micciche) at 04-05-08 09:53 AM